Blog Post

NBC’s Online Olympics: Missing the Commentary; 4-Screen Feeds Awesome

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

imageWhile we are still awaiting the Olympics opening ceremony on TV on the West Coast (oh the misery), and pretend it hasn’t happened almost a day into it, is already abuzz with live feeds…the one on right now: Team and individual eventing dressage in horse racing…ah, the excitement. And five minutes into it, I am already missing the audio commentary…and this is me, who has bitched about the lame and parochial commentators from NBC Sports over the the years.

But some very cool features with the video streams: my favorite one is the ability to jump back into a specific point in the game, based on the text commentary in the video window. So for instance, if you are watching a football game, besides the live or archived stream, you can go back to a specific goal video point, by just click on the text commentary describing that goal. Then the four screen feed display is awesome, even though it is useless. It is akin to picture-in-picture on TV, with one specific game as the main screen, and three very small screens with other live games going on. You can pick and choose which games you want in those four windows. On advertising, well, “house ads” from GE dominate for now, both video and banner ads, so they are keeping it within the family.

Not to take away from the herculean effort from NBC online, but again, as I said before when going slightly overboard in my totalitarian reference, while the site has lots of buzz, it is not alive. That’s waiting for TV. Liz says it best: “We have to say we

One Response to “NBC’s Online Olympics: Missing the Commentary; 4-Screen Feeds Awesome”

  1. I was just hoping that the 2008 Olympics would mark the turning point for the online video EXPERIENCE. An experience that allowed us to both lean back and watch the NBC drama unfold AND lean forward to self-produce our own Olympic channel.

    Instead, we have two distinct experiences a traditional TV broadcast directed by NBC and a website that is a tribute to online video 1.0 – short clips, a cluttered UI and more links than there are stones in the Great Wall of China. Sure, we can watch lots of live streaming video on the web and easily swap between multiple feeds, but there’s nothing inventive about the online experience and there’s no continuity between it and the broadcast feed.

    In this blog post, I've offered a few ideas for improving the Olympic viewer experience: